The Core Class: The World of Tracking

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Perfect opossum track, both front & back feet.

The Core Class spans one full year with one class each month.

We meet on the last Friday or Saturday of each month (see the Core Class schedule).

Over the course of the year, we will study tracking in several different locations and weather conditions— and you will experience the whole range of tracking.

Tracking is a holistic practice—that is, on any one walk, we will be drawing from the full spectrum of tracking to read the stories of animal life on the land. At the same time, we will take advantage of the locations and the qualities of each day to focus on one or two major facets of tracking.


2-spring-raven tracks at water
Raven footprints were made while drinking from a stream.

At each class, we will review and practice the basics.

  • Greetings, gratitude, and grounding
  • Sensory awareness and expansion
  • Seeing from the three perspectives
  • Slow walking, breath-to-surrender, and dynamic Wide-angle vision
  • Quieting down and joining the spirit of the land-invisibility
  • Envisioning the animals in the landscape—lacks and larders (absence and abundance of resources)
3-summer16a mice
Deer mouse trails weaving in and out of the European dune grass.

Depending on the weather and season, we will choose a location and focus on two or three of the following aspects of tracking.

  • Track details and foot morphology
  • Gaits and baseline movement
  • Drawing and journaling to focus on detail
  • Pressure releases and weathering—where tracks begin to speak
  • Trailing animals
  • Sign tracking: scat, digs, feeding sign, kill sites
  • Bird language and landscape baseline-what animals are talking about
  • Sit spots to let the location resume baseline


Acorn granary with resident Acorn Woodpecker

Bring tracking back to daily life.

  • Slowing down and opening up: a new way to confront obstacles
  • Responding to each step
  • Making the meditation in tracking an ongoing, active part of each moment—the tao of life
  • Responding fruitfully to grief, fear, and anger
  • Grounding ourselves in an older, wilder, more primal state of being

1-winter-abbotts very tracked
Everyone was out for this mid-winter warm spell!